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As Delhi airport chokes, regional flights to operate from Hindon from December

The decision to operate regional flights from Hindon will ease the pressure on the Delhi airport which is already congested and is undergoing expansion.

delhi Updated: Oct 24, 2017 11:05 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi airport,Hindon Air Force Station,DIAL
Hindon air force station is the home base of the Indian Air Force’s Globemaster military transport aircraft. (PTI)

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding this week with the Delhi airport operator to manage some regional flights from Hindon air force station in Ghaziabad by December on a temporary basis.

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) had accepted government’s request to allow regional flights to operate from the Hindon air force station as Delhi airport is already congested and is being expanded.

Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), government will announce new routes and those bidding for routes have been told that flights from Delhi will operate from Hindon. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will develop the passenger facilities once the MoU is signed .

“We are finalizing a MoU between DIAL, MOCA and AAI. The development will be done from the fund of AAI. By November 5, routes will be announced and since small aircrafts will operate under the new Udan scheme (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), Hindon has been finalized as a backup for Delhi,” said a ministry official who did not wish to be named.

Aviation secretary RN Chaubey had said in August that the aviation ministry had asked DIAL to allow Hindon to host part two of regional flights. According to the agreement between the Union Govt and private concessionaire when Delhi airport was privatised, commercial flights are not allowed to operate from any airport within a 150-km radius of the Delhi airport without the permission of DIAL.

“This is a temporary arrangement and since DIAL knows that it cannot handle extra flights at Delhi airport before expansion, it has agreed to the use of Hindon. Though once the expansion is complete, these flights will shift back to Delhi airport,” the official added.

Read more: Delhi airport operator gives nod to flights from Hindon air base in winter

The Hindon airport is a single-runway base and home to Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft that form the backbone of the heavy airlift division of the Indian Air Force.

A brand new terminal, new runway, elevated taxiway and internal rail system is part of Delhi airport’s expansion plan. Since T1 is operating beyond its capacity, the expansion will begin from there and cover the airside, terminal building and city side. The master plan will be implemented in three modular phases- phase 3A (2018-21), 3 B (2021-25) and Phase 4 (2026 onwards).

The departure Terminal, T1D and arriving Terminal, T1 C will be merged into one and expanded to accommodate 40 million passengers per annum. The modified T1 will also have aerobridge operations with 22 aerobridges.

As per the Master Plan, capacity of T 1 will be increased from 20 million passengers to 40 million passengers and the capacity of T3 will be increased from 34 million to 45 million passengers.

From a capacity of handling 73 aircraft per hour and 70 million passengers per annum, it will be increased to 96 aircraft per hour and 80 million passengers per annum between 2018 and 2021.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 12:02 IST